Tuesday, April 10, 2012

3 friends, 30 objects, etc.

For the past 10 days, my friends Libby and Mariposa (two academic writing specialists) and I have been posting daily on our blog 3 friends, 30 objects, 90 stories, our rendition of a reflective writing exercise described by composition scholars Doug Hesse, Nancy Sommers, and Kathleen Blake Yancey. This exercise (which, as the blog's title suggest, is now one-third of the way through), described more fully here, has proven to be one of the most rewarding of my recent career.

Though we'd originally meant for each of us to write for 30 minutes a day, on some days I've worked for three or more hours on what I'd like to say, drafting and redrafting, tweaking the words until they're just so. On the whole, it's making me a better writer. How could it fail to, given that I'm intentionally devoting so much time to it?

It's healthy. I've written some of the best poems I've written in a long time. I've shared openly wonderful memories from long ago I've never shared before. I've learned a great deal about two close friends. The whole experience has been calming, centering, and enlightening.

I strongly recommend this exercise to any person hoping to learn more about herself...and to any friends hoping to learn more about each other. I also recommend it to any teacher in any area, at any level, as a means of focusing students' attention.

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